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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
air travel with a backpacker stove on 02/03/2010 13:07:56 MST Print View

I'm planning some air travel in North America. When I get to the last city airport, I will not have any time for equipment purchases. The flights will extend out into the boonies, and there will be no place for equipment purchases. But, I will be camping there for about six days. I'm going to be cooking a little, but some stoves will be too difficult since I can't pack any normal stove fuel on the aircraft. I can perfectly understand that, so I would not pack any white gas, butane, or alcohol. My general plan is to take a small woodburning stove and use twigs at the site. That should be enough to cook with. However, I know that it's likely to be rainy there, so all twigs may be wet and soggy. So, it would be wise if I had some kind of backup fuel along, but it can't be any fuel that would upset a TSA inspector or scanning machine. It has to be some burnable substance that does not classify as a fuel. Examples might include candle wax and wood. I've already made some inquiries to TSA, and they basically say, "Don't pack it, because our TSA inspectors have the right to remove anything at all that is even marginally suspect." [The bastards!] We had a discussion about MSDS sheets and hazardous material, and I could not pin them down. Now, I understand that they have good intentions, but I still need some guidelines as to what is permitted and what is not. If they told me that up to 2 ounces of candle is permitted, then I would pack about 1.9 ounces of it. They can't possibly object to wood (for crying out loud!), so I think I will have a couple of ounces of a softwood like yellow pine in slender pieces, and some firestarter material. Lighting the stove is not difficult (flint and steel).
Has anybody ever dealt with this?
--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Air Travel on 02/03/2010 13:27:53 MST Print View

Sugar cubes?




Just kidding!!! Don't even try to sneak those into an airplane -- checked or carried on!

I think it's unrealistic to bring enough 'fuel' like wood, etc. onboard. Maybe bring a generous supply of fire starters (e.g. lint) plus 1-2 BIC lighters, which are allowed -- to get you started on your wood-burning stove.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Fire starter wood/planes on 02/03/2010 13:28:05 MST Print View

Bob, I'm not sure what your yellow pine might be (fairly generic term), but you might want to take what they call "fatwood" on the plane instead. It's full of pitch, can be lit in few seconds with your Bic, and I bet TSA won't give a hoot. It's a great firestarter material, burns for 5-8 minutes, and it smells great (you might want to keep it in a freezer bag, or even vacuum seal it, due to the fragrant smell). It usually comes in 8-10" sticks, which I usually cut into 2-3" pieces at home. It doesn't take much to get a fire going, even with damp kindling. You can find them in your grocery store, in the BBQ briquette section.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Benjamin and Gary on 02/03/2010 13:52:22 MST Print View

Originally, I had thought about taking Esbit, but then I had that discussion with TSA, so it is out.
BIC lighters won't really go. Only common lighters without fuel are allowed, and a BIC without butane isn't much good. As I stated, I can create sparks, and cotton balls or jute fiber balls work well to catch sparks and become a firestarter. Sparks are not the issue. The issue is that I will need some kind of basic twig fuel substitute in the event that it's been raining for a week and everything on the ground is floating. Ideally, the wooden pieces are about the diameter of one's finger, or smaller. My basic firestarter sticks are made out of sawdust and wax, and they work OK. I guess I will just have to purchase a few packages of them before leaving home. Nylon fabric scraps burn, but I hate to completely crud up my stove with that stuff, except in an emergency. I'll have a knife packed, so I can always chip pieces off the ranger station log cabin!
Apparently candle wax has a similar density to some types of plastique explosive, so it may show up in a baggage scan, at least if it was a brick of it.
--B.G.--

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - M
air travel with a backpacker stove on 02/03/2010 13:55:58 MST Print View

Better yet find some fatwood/lighter wood when you get there. Old old pine stumps usually have a good bit on them.
You will need a sturdy knife and or saw to get it off as the stuff is hard as a rock.

Candlewax on hemp string or rope works, but you better test it out first.

Dont know how they are with candles on planes

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: reply to Benjamin and Gary on 02/03/2010 14:03:05 MST Print View

BIC lighters won't really go. Only common lighters without fuel are allowed, and a BIC without butane isn't much good.

Per TSA website, up to two BIC lighters with butane fuel are allowed as carry on! One of the few things you are allowed to carry (but not check).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
wood types on 02/03/2010 14:08:40 MST Print View

Apparently the two wood types at my destination are cottonwood and spruce. Cottonwood is soft, but tends to be a little damp, and it produces a smoky fire. That's better than nothing. Spruce ought to be slightly better, but I'll have to walk much farther to pick it up. That's OK if that is the best that I can do.
Reports from the destination claim that twigs were floating all about the camping area. That's not OK.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not something that I would bring along for the obvious purpose, but it might help promote a fire. Also, DEET works as a bug repellent, and it might help a fire, even if it is smoky.
Boy, the animals are going to love me!
--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Benjamin on 02/03/2010 14:15:29 MST Print View

Benjamin, you and I must be looking at two completely different TSA pages. Here is what I see:

"Common Lighters - Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please leave it at home."

"Strike-anywhere Matches - One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage."

(I can hand carry a book of ordinary matches, but that is not the issue.)
--B.G.--

Erik Graf
(Van-Go) - F
I feel your pain on 02/03/2010 14:56:42 MST Print View

I have to say that the last several trips I have taken I had a mini bic lighter and matches in my cook pot which I had in checked luggage. As with every time I travel with my hiking gear I had the TSA baggage inspection slip in my luggage when I got to my destination but my matches and bic remained.

I usually stop by an auto parts store, supermarket, retail store and get a bottle of HEET.

You're saying you cannot though - any chance you can mail something ahead (though I know there are restrictions on that)and I can only assume if you cannot stop by a store you cannot stop by a Post Office.

Maybe bring a magnesium / flint striker to use on a zip lock bag full of high resin wood chips. I used to bring a 35mm film canister with cotton balls slimmed with petroleum jelly. It was never pulled from my luggage. They would dry wet leaves and twigs enough to ignite and I'd just add larger and larger pieces.

Could bring a bunch of bags of Frito's - I use those to start fires - burn like a candle for several minutes...

Coleman sticks?

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_089W464912110001P?vName=Fitness%20&%20Sports&cName=Camping&Hiking&sName=Fire%20Starters%20&%20Lighters&psid=FROOGLE&sid=KDx20070926x00003a

Good luck - I know how aggravating that can be.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
To Bob on 02/03/2010 15:13:06 MST Print View

Bob,

Your reference above applies to checked baggage. I was talking about carrying on. Click here for the page and notice that under "common lighters", it's a "yes" for carry on and a "no" for checked baggage.

If that's not clear enough, click here for American Airlines website and scroll down to lighters. Same info -- BIC lighters can be carried on (but not checked).

Hope this clears it up.

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2010 15:14:23 MST.

Spruce Goose
(SpruceGoose) - F

Locale: New England
air travel... on 02/03/2010 15:27:37 MST Print View

>>When I get to the last city airport, I will not have any time for equipment purchases. The flights will extend out into the boonies, and there will be no place for equipment purchases.<<

Maybe some more detail as to where you're headed would be helpful.

I'd think that, if you're someplace in NA with a commercial airport, then there would be some place within a few minutes drive where you could buy some type of fuel...particularly alcohol or gasoline/kerosene.

On the other hand, if the problem is solely that "there is no time for equipment purchases", then I'd say you should change your travel itinerary. Whoever is picking you up could certainly grab some petrol before they pick you up, or something...right?

This reminds me of one of those puzzles they give you in math class back in 7th grade. My answer is "need more details."

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Benjamin and Spruce Goose on 02/03/2010 15:52:34 MST Print View

"Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please leave it at home."

Nowhere does it state that BIC lighters with fuel are allowed without a DOT case. AA simply links to the same information at TSA. It states that unfueled lighters are allowed. However, a lighter is not the issue, as I have stated. I can generate sparks all day long, and I have enough cotton balls and magnesium to last a long time. The only issue is dry wood for fuel.

There are places in Alaska where you can't drive to by car. The last airport connection won't allow any time or place to purchase anything. Further, another flight from there takes me to my final destination where there is nothing. Zilch. No airport. Just two moose and a beaver.

A bagful of sawdust and wax firestarter sticks will have to cover me. A 50-50 mixture of that and soggy twigs should burn well. On my arrival day or whatever day is dry enough, I will just bag up enough twigs to last me.

Fortunately, this will not be Four-Star dining. The simplest of water boiling is all I need.
--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: reply to Benjamin and Spruce Goose on 02/03/2010 16:17:47 MST Print View

Bob:

BIC's are allowed as carry on. But you keep focusing on checked bags! Anyway, I realize you don't absolutely need to carry a lighter, but just want to state for the record that they are indeed allowed.

I think the post above raises a good point. Who's picking you up? Can he get some fuel for you?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
a reply for Benjamin on 02/03/2010 16:28:44 MST Print View

Nowhere on the damned TSA page does it mention anything about BIC lighters, and you've read the text from there. Nor is a lighter the issue. The issue is purely fuel wood of small diameter. My woodburner stove's opening is less than four inches in diameter.

Nobody is picking me up. There is no road. Two moose and a beaver, and the moose don't have opposable thumbs, so they can't drive. No vehicles.

Now, I know that things can accidentally fall into one's suitcase, and it would be up to a TSA inspector to actually find them or confiscate them. I prefer to stay on the right side of the law. A friend of mine is a TSA inspector, so I know what they can and cannot do.

--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: on 02/03/2010 16:42:56 MST Print View

I see. You're taking a commercial airline straight to a bush landing field with no road, two moose and a beaver.

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2010 16:51:53 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Benjamin on 02/03/2010 16:51:00 MST Print View

That's pretty much it, except that there isn't any landing strip.

The moose and beaver don't do ultralight. I might be able to get the beaver to cut some logs, but nothing small enough for me to burn. I might be able to pick up some beaver's wood debris to burn.
--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
text from the TSA web page on 02/03/2010 16:52:26 MST Print View

"Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage. Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case. If you are uncertain as to whether your lighter is prohibited, please leave it at home."

--B.G.--

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: text from the TSA web page on 02/03/2010 17:07:59 MST Print View

OK, Bob, one more time:

1. the wording you pasted applies ONLY to checked baggage. You CANNOT put a BIC lighter in your checked baggage.

2. But the same webpage -- look at the column headings(!) -- carry on vs. checked. See them? Now look down a bit for "common lighters". See the "Yes" for carry on and the "No" for checked.

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2010 17:09:12 MST.

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Jesus on 02/03/2010 17:13:36 MST Print View

Bob,

I'm a commercial airline pilot. You CAN carry lighters onto the aircraft. You may not be able to check them, but you CAN carry them in your pocket. Just for the record, most TSA agents are under trained idiots.

ETA - Not saying you should try it, but I just put everything I want to take in my checked baggage. Legal or not legal... that's for them to figure out. I've always arrived with everything I started out with.

Edited by Junction on 02/03/2010 17:15:57 MST.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
this is getting weird on 02/03/2010 17:15:37 MST Print View

hmmm i dont really understand whats going on here. My take on it, yes u can take bic lighters in your pocket, and just not checked into your checked bags (Bob, look at the yes/no chart in Ben's link closer) Yeah it's confusing but i'm interpreting it the same way Ben is. Yeah i know that doesn't concern you b/c u have your spark striker, but a $1.00 bic will save u time, and worse comes to worse, u have to toss it out before you board. Go with the fat wood people are recommending, that stuff burns long and lights easy. I would also bring cotton balls or Tinder-Quik Fire Tabs. If you plan on relying only on your sparker, you're going to find it somewhat difficult to light the fatwood byitself, so the cotton/dryer lint/ tinder quik will be helpful

*oops Justin beat me to the punch, but yeah i agree

Edited by Konrad1013 on 02/03/2010 17:17:32 MST.